Valve announces Artifact, finally jumps into virtual collectible card gaming


Yes. $1 for other people to buy (total), $0.60 for me. It’s definitely the case there’s a minimum transaction fee of $0.01 for each of both the game and Valve and it always rounds in their favor (which is technically how it always works, but it feels more scummy when the game tax is still going to Valve)


So that seems to imply that you’re seeing minimum sales price as 0.01 for a card and the minimum purchase price as 0.03? Odd that it’s 0.04 for me, because it really looks like there’s three rather than two fees, all with their separate minimum values.

But yes, this is my fundamental problem with how they’ve set up this part of the economy. One would expect the buy price of all but the most important cards to trend down to a purchase price of 0.04 (since that’s the point where it’s worth buying cards just to craft them into tickets). One would not expect Valve to take 75% of that value.

And just to be clear, it’s a minimum transaction fee per card no matter how large a batch of cards you’re buying or selling at once.


Man, it’s really too bad they decided to go this route. If it was an LCG, I would have bought immediately. The more I hear, though, the less interested I get.


So is it unusual to splash three colors in draft mode? I have a 2 green-2 red-black deck going, and it actually won a game for me (gasp). I thought I was toast after I finished drafting, but the black splash is making me rich rich rich with gold!


I see opponents with a tri-color maybe one game in five in Phantom Draft, so it’s not that unusual. But my gut feeling at the start of all those games is that they’ll be easy wins.

My method so far has been pretty much deciding before the game which dual-color to go for, and just draft for those. (Decide on how to split the heroes as late as possible). Which obviously is not a great strategy, but at least provides a decision framework of some sorts. It’s worked the best with blue/green so far (with the greens trying to keep the blues alive early on).

Had a nice five game win with a double-Zeus + Meepo + 5 “refill the mana pool” improvement cards. Basically all I needed to do was survive for four rounds, and then just spam Thundergod’s Wrath until all enemy heroes are gone. And then had another similar run with a double Skywrath Mage instead. Having six copies of the signature card makes a huge difference in how reliably you can expect to see it.


Tri-color draft decks are actually what is recommended by the ‘pros’. What I usually do (I am by no means a pro though) is to simply look for the best heroes/cards in the first two packs and not worry so much which colours I will end up using, and then in the last three block out one colour.


What happens if you don’t take the hero from a new pack? Isn’t there a fair chance you’ll never see a hero until the next pack then (since packs only have 1 hero)? Which means you’ll end up with less than 5 heroes.


You always get a hero in the last two cards if you haven’t already picked one by then. (Unclear whether they just randomly replace a card with a random hero, or if they arrange for you to get a real draft hand that had a hero at that point).

And you also get three copies of each of the four basic heroes.


I won my first ever game against a human with a phantom draft deck yesterday!

Also, if you’re not playing red, how do you deal with red’s kind of insane heroes? They come down in Round One with 4+ attack and 10+ health, and they always seem to just snowball into unstoppable killing machines.


And you can use multiple copies of a hero in draft.


If you have a particularly weak hero it’s better to not include them in the flop, as you’ll often be unlucky and they’ll get ganked on turn 1. Black has a number of tools to deal with them, whilst green/blue I feel you just have to manage it until you have the mana to start playing their great cards.

One of the reasons I like draft more is that you rarely see Axe being played!


waaaait a second. do the first three heroes in the UI correspond to the three that get played before the game starts? I assumed that was random.


Yep! The order of hero deployment is a pretty important part of your deck strategy. Evidently the game should have taught this better. Just to be clear, the last two aren’t randomised either: the fourth hero will come out round 2, and the fifth hero will come out round 3.


Do the first three heroes get deployed randomly, or do they go into the lanes in order?


The first three heroes get deployed randomly into the three lanes.


I grabbed this tonight, and I kind of like it a lot. Wish the games played a bit more quickly… though it’s maybe not a bad thing that one draft will take a week or two to play out, once I get to playing with real tickets, anyways.

I pulled two Drow Rangers with my initial packs, and sold one of them for $11. Otherwise kind of a bunch of crap, at least price-wise. Even after a couple of hours I feel like I’ve gotten $9 worth of fun, so no complaints from me about the pricing. Looking forward to digging a bit deeper into what seem like some very complex interactions.

(And a random aside: I grabbed this instead of the new Magic game mostly because the M:tG game is neither available for Mac nor on Steam for streaming nor iOS, and thus I can’t play it on my laptop or tablet. Can’t believe they released a card game without at least some of those options.)


I think MtG: Arena is technically just an open beta right now.


The game hasn’t been a hit for Tycho of PA


What is he even talking about here?

Except Artifact is what happens when you hire a rockstar designer, have functionally no budget, and nobody in their anarcho-syndicalist commune has the moral authority to say “No.”

No budget? What? The one criticism that would be hard to level at Artifact would be a complaint about the production values. It’s slick.


No budget = No budget limit. I had to make a double take there, too.